Short-course raltegravir intensification does not reduce persistent low-level viremia in patients with HIV-1 suppression during receipt of combination antiretroviral therapy

D. McMahon, J. Jones, A. Wiegand, S. J. Gange, M. Kearney, S. Palmer, S. McNulty, J. A. Metcalf, E. Acosta, C. Rehm, J. M. Coffin, J. W. Mellors, F. Maldarelli

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Abstract

Background. Combination antiretroviral therapy suppresses but does not eradicate human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in infected persons, and low-level viremia can be detected despite years of suppressive antiretroviral therapy. Short-course (28-day) intensification of standard antiretroviral combination therapy is a useful approach to determine whether complete rounds of HIV-1 replication in rapidly cycling cells contribute to persistent viremia. We investigated whether intensification with the integrase inhibitor raltegravir decreases plasma HIV-1 RNA levels in patients receiving suppressive antiretroviral therapy. Methods. Subjects (n = 10) with long-term HIV-1 suppression receiving combination antiretroviral regimens had their regimens intensified for 4 weeks with raltegravir. Plasma HIV-1 RNA level was determined before, during, and after the 4-week intensification period, using a sensitive assay (limit of detection, 0.2 copies of HIV-1 RNA/ mL of plasma). A 4-week intensification course was chosen to investigate potential HIV-1 replication in cells with relatively short (∼l-14-day) half-lives. Results. There was no evidence in any subject of a decline in HIV-1 RNA level during the period of raltegravir intensification or of rebound after discontinuation. Median levels of HIV-1 RNA before (0.17 log10 copies/mL), during (0.04 log l0 copies/mL), and after (0.04 logl0) copies/mL) raltegravir intensification were not significantly different (P> .1 for all comparisons in parametric analyses). High-performance liquid chromatography and mass spectroscopy experiments confirmed that therapeutic levels of raltegravir were achieved in plasma during intensification. Conclusions. Intensification of antiretroviral therapy with a potent HIV-1 integrase inhibitor did not decrease persistent viremia in subjects receiving suppressive regimens, indicating that rapidly cycling cells infected with HIV-1 were not present. Eradication of HIV-1 from infected persons will require new therapeutic approaches. Trial registration. ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00618371.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)912-919
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Volume50
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 15 2010

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this

McMahon, D., Jones, J., Wiegand, A., Gange, S. J., Kearney, M., Palmer, S., McNulty, S., Metcalf, J. A., Acosta, E., Rehm, C., Coffin, J. M., Mellors, J. W., & Maldarelli, F. (2010). Short-course raltegravir intensification does not reduce persistent low-level viremia in patients with HIV-1 suppression during receipt of combination antiretroviral therapy. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 50(6), 912-919. https://doi.org/10.1086/650749